FROM William Dalrymple
Hamid Karzai Does It Again Just last night, Secretary of State John Kerry announced a deal to keep some American troops in Afghanistan after next year's withdrawal. "The agreement will speak for itself when the agreement is approved…We have agreed on the language that would be submitted to a loya jirga, but they have to pass it." Today, the President of Afghanistan said it might not be signed until next year. It's all about the continued presence of some American soldiers after most foreign troops leave the country. Is this another of Hamid Karzai's diplomatic maneuvers? Will the traditional meeting of 2500 tribal elders that's meeting on Afghan security, approve the troop deal? How many soldiers are needed to hold off the Taliban and protect Afghanistan's regional interests, and how long will the US be willing to pay the bills?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.